NFL Draft News & Analysis

2024 NFL Draft: Anthony Treash's top 100 prospects

2T5KHFG LSU quarterback Jayden Daniels (5) celebrates after running for a touchdown against Alabama during the first half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Nov. 4, 2023, in Tuscaloosa, Ala. (AP Photo/Vasha Hunt)

• J.J. McCarthy over Drake Maye: Stylistically and situationally, Maye is eerily similar to Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert when he came out in 2020. He hits some jaw-droppers on a frozen rope that scream “special,” but the accuracy and indecision in a poor offensive structure are the separating factors for me.

• Jayden Daniels comes in at No. 38: Beyond his pressure playstyle, there are some issues with Daniels' quick-game accuracy, and it’s also fair to say his intermediate passing ability is suspect.

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Happy draft week, folks. We made it.

With that, the time has come to share my top 100 big board for the 2024 NFL Draft. I have divided this year's top prospects into six tiers. I explain my thoughts on some of the more notable rankings early on, then I take a look at some of the prospects I am higher on than the consensus as determined by Arif Hasan’s 2024 consensus big board.



Ovr Rank POS Name School Pos Rank
1 QB Caleb Williams USC QB1
2 WR Marvin Harrison Jr. Ohio State WR1
3 WR Rome Odunze Washington WR2
4 WR Malik Nabers LSU WR3
5 OT Joe Alt Notre Dame OT1
6 TE Brock Bowers Georgia TE1
7 OT Taliese Fuaga Oregon State OT2
8 EDGE Laiatu Latu UCLA EDGE1
9 QB J.J. McCarthy Michigan QB2
10 CB Terrion Arnold Alabama CB1
11 CB Quinyon Mitchell Toledo CB2
12 iDL Byron Murphy II Texas iDL1
13 QB Drake Maye North Carolina QB3
14 OT Olu Fashanu Penn State OT3
15 OT JC Latham Alabama OT4
16 EDGE Dallas Turner Alabama EDGE2
No. 1: QB Caleb Williams, USC

The term “generational” gets thrown around loosely in draft season, but it sometimes is a good way to label a quarterback prospect. Look at prospects such as Andrew Luck (2012) and Joe Burrow (2020), for example.

I believe Caleb Williams belongs in that exclusive club.

To start, the tools are all elite. He generates unbelievable torque on his throws and has arm talent worthy of the first overall pick. He has the lower-body strength and twitch to fight through defenders in the backfield and extend plays.

On dropbacks that took longer than 4.0 seconds after the snap, Williams has helped generate 53 explosive passes resulting in a gain of 15 or more yards — 13 more than the next-best quarterback at the top of the class (Spencer Rattler). And he doesn’t take it for granted. The USC product knows when to bail on the pocket, where to climb and when to throw, keeping his feet ready all of the way through.

Pair that with his intellect and you get a dangerous playmaker, one who can work the entire field with confidence and accuracy, regardless of his platform and arm slot. Williams’ feet and eyes are always working in unison, and he has an exceptional feel for his offensive line and receiving unit. He also knows when to test certain windows and how to layer over the second level.

He’s a true field general, which is why he is so successful when working out of empty formations. In his career, Williams has averaged 9.6 yards per attempt in such formations—a full 1.5 yards higher than the other top prospects in the class.

Defenses also have to respect Williams’ athletic ability. Over his career, he has averaged 5.8 yards per designed rush, the highest of the top seven quarterback prospects in this draft class.

Whether he’s forced to make a play outside the structure of the offense or pass in rhythm from the pocket, Williams can deliver. His ball security has to improve (33 career fumbles, including dropped snaps), and he still could further fine-tune his touch and eye manipulation. There’s also his high average time to throw, which came in at 3.16 seconds in 2023 and would have been the third-highest among NFL quarterbacks last season (Justin Fields and Lamar Jackson).

The inflated time to throw is partially due to the USC offense and having to carry them, but he will have to keep growing in learning to take what’s there.

No. 9: QB J.J. McCarthy, Michigan

There seems to be a massive divide between the media consensus and the league when it comes to Michigan quarterback J.J. McCarthy.

The biggest issue with his resume is the passing volume (or lack thereof) he had while in Ann Arbor. He dropped back to pass 30 times in a single game in just two of his 12 Power Five starts in 2023. Those games were against a predictable Purdue defense, which he shredded, and in the Big Ten Championship game against Iowa.

The glass-half-full outlook to the volume concern is the offense McCarthy played in. It was as close to an NFL offense as it gets in college, and it showed in the true dropback game:

One of McCarthy's more underappreciated traits is his twitchy athleticism. He didn’t lean on it at Michigan, but he showed it’s there, with his season-best PFF Game Athleticism Score (GAS) ranking at the 97th percentile.

Another underrated aspect of his game is his off-platform arm talent and accuracy. Over his career, McCarthy recorded 12 touchdowns, averaged 10.2 yards per attempt and completed 62% of his passes outside the structure of the offense. He ranks top-three among all first-round quarterbacks since 2017 in all of those metrics, with his completion percentage being the best by nearly eight percentage points.

He’s a proven football junkie who can comfortably work full-field progression concepts, manipulate defenders and has an advanced ability to decipher throw windows. His pocket mechanics also took a great leap forward in 2023.

Beyond the volume issue, McCarthy does have to work on his vision under pressure, as he put some head-scratching throws on tape in such situations. He can also get a little too testy on throws and is a prime suspect to record a high intereception total early in the NFL. And while his base has improved when throwing from the pocket, he still has some work to do to cut it down so it doesn’t impact ball placement.

The national champion may have a steeper learning curve early on in the NFL ranks, but the ceiling is as high as any.

No. 13: QB Drake Maye, North Carolina

I wouldn’t fault any team for taking Drake Maye over McCarthy — the two are very different types of quarterbacks, and team fit isn’t talked about enough with prospects at every position.

Maye has the ideal size-athleticism combo for today’s NFL. The 6-foot-4, 227-pound Tar Heel has more than proven to be an impactful runner, posting 58 conversions as a scrambler, the second-most among 2024 top quarterback prospects (Jayden Daniels). He’s light on his feet and has bouncy mobility.

As a passer, Maye has sharp instincts and has displayed intellect well beyond his years. He has eye-popping anticipatory throws on tape, and he can tap into creativity with throw creation when needed. Throw in the elite arm strength to drive throws into windows in a way few can, and you have a strong NFL quarterback prospect.

One of the main differentiators for me when comparing Maye to the other top prospects is his accuracy. It’s fine at best, with an uncomfortable number of misses in quick-game and when his process is sped up. On non-screen passes within 2.5 seconds of the snap, Maye’s accurate pass rate stood at 56% in 2023, the worst among the top seven quarterback prospects in this class.

Maye will also have to work on his touch and leading vertically versus horizontally. There also could be some issues dealing with NFL timing requirements and handling more complex coverages, but that’s a concern with every quarterback coming out of college. I also wanted to see more decisive throws to in-cuts at the intermediate level, as he passes some of those up, but that also wasn’t the North Carolina offense.

Stylistically and situationally, Maye is eerily similar to Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert when he came out in 2020. He hits some jaw-droppers on a frozen rope that scream “special,” but the accuracy and indecision in a poor offensive structure is the separating factor for me.


Ovr Rank POS Name School Pos Rank
17 CB Kool-Aid McKinstry Alabama CB3
18 WR Xavier Worthy Texas WR4
19 CB Nate Wiggins Clemson CB4
20 iDL Jer'Zhan Newton Illinois iDL2
21 EDGE Chop Robinson Penn State EDGE3
22 CB Cooper DeJean Iowa CB5
23 EDGE Jared Verse Florida State EDGE4
24 WR Adonai Mitchell Texas WR5


Ovr Rank POS Name School Pos Rank
25 iOL Jackson Powers-Johnson Oregon iOL1
26 iDL T'Vondre Sweat Texas iDL3
27 SCB Mike Sainristil Michigan SCB1
28 iOL Zach Frazier West Virginia iOL2
29 OT Amarius Mims Georgia OT5
30 SAF Calen Bullock USC SAF1
31 WR Roman Wilson Michigan WR6
32 SAF Javon Bullard Georgia SAF2
33 OT Troy Fautanu Washington OT6
34 OT Blake Fisher Notre Dame OT7
35 iDL Michael Hall Jr. Ohio State iDL4
36 SCB Tykee Smith Georgia SCB2
37 WR Brian Thomas Jr. LSU WR7
38 QB Jayden Daniels LSU QB4
39 SAF Malik Mustapha Wake Forest SAF3
40 WR Ladd McConkey Georgia WR8
41 CB Cam Hart Notre Dame CB6
42 LB Payton Wilson NC State LB1
43 iOL Cooper Beebe Kansas State iOL3
44 OT Kingsley Suamataia BYU OT8
45 QB Spencer Rattler South Carolina QB5
Explaining Jayden Daniels

Jayden Danielscareer progression is unprecedented. He improved his PFF grade in each of his five seasons at the collegiate level, finishing with a 94.7 overall mark in his final year en route to winning the Heisman Trophy.

The 6-foot-4, 210-pound quarterback is an elite athlete with some of the best ball security PFF has seen at the collegiate level. In fact, his 1.6% turnover-worthy play rate is the lowest on record (dating back to 2014). Rarely does he make a throw that makes you stand up in disbelief, and that’s something that is said with nearly every quarterback in college.

One of the biggest areas of improvement for Daniels — and a big reason for his 2023 Heisman campaign — was his deep passing. He tossed 22 deep passing touchdowns over 20-plus yards downfield in 2023, which was more than his total in his first four seasons of college football combined (20).

The LSU prospect consistently threw these vertical routes while effectively attacking leverage. Some may call this out as a stat reflecting his elite receiving duo of Malik Nabers and Brian Thomas Jr., but while I agree receiving talent heavily influences deep passing production, Daniels delivered and did what he needed to do in order to take advantage.

I have bigger concerns than that. The biggest being his pressure playstyle and reliance on scramble runs.

Anyone will agree the scramble opportunities he saw at the college level will be fewer and further between at the NFL level. He also was way too willing to put his body on the line at LSU, and he can’t do that nearly as often in the pros with his thin frame.

Daniels will need to get the ball out quicker in the NFL and not pass up what the defense gives him to seek out the potential big run. This is connected to his concerningly high pressure-to-sack rate over his college career. Each of his five seasons at Arizona State and LSU ended in a pressure-to-sack rate above 20% for a career average of 24.5%. For reference, only one quarterback over the last five seasons in the NFL owns a pressure-to-sack rate above 24.5% (Carolina Panthers starter Bryce Young, whose rate in his college career stood at 15.6%). The bottom line is that Daniels’ pocket presence is a concern.

Not to mention, there’s a rather significant issue with being able to throw when the play breaks, which is a huge piece to the NFL game. Here’s a look at how the top quarterback prospects compare in the 2023 regular season with their percentage of dropbacks moved off their spot to result a throw:

Beyond his pressure playstyle, there are some issues with his quick-game accuracy, and it’s also fair to say his intermediate passing ability is suspect.

Daniels’ athleticism, ball security and overall growth as a passer in progression concepts give him a strong floor as an NFL quarterback, but the list of cons is large.

My “most underrated prospect” hails from Wake Forest for the third straight draft

In 2022, Wake Forest offensive lineman Zach Tom came in at No. 42 on my top 100 big board, roughly 80 spots above his consensus rank. Tom landed with the Green Bay Packers at Pick 140 that year, and just last season, he was the fifth-highest-graded right tackle in the NFL.

In 2023, Wake Forest interior defensive lineman Kobie Turner came in at No. 40 on my top 100 big board — roughly 90 spots above his consensus rank. Turner landed with the Los Angeles Rams at Pick 90 last year and earned an 83.2 PFF grade in his rookie campaign, a top-10 mark among all NFL interior defensive linemen.

In 2024, it is Wake Forest safety Malik Mustapha who comes in at No. 39 on my top 100 big board — nearly 100 spots above the consensus rank.

Flip on Wake’s defense, and it doesn’t take long to notice that Mustapha is one of the best athletes on the field. The advanced metrics back that up, too, as he posted a PFF Game Athleticism Score (GAS) above the 96th percentile in each of his three seasons as a Demon Deacon.

He is a strong, explosive and rocked-up safety who is unbelievable when it comes to playing top-down. Mustapha runs the alley and fits the run at an NFL level. Last year, he earned an 87.5 grade versus the run — a top-10 mark among all FBS safeties.

Mustapha is a do-it-all, scheme-versatile safety. He has some work to do in reeling in his over-aggressive playstyle and his understanding of route concepts, but I believe he will end up a steal just like his former teammates. 

Highlighting other prospects I’m higher on than the consensus

No. 30: S Calen Bullock, USC (consensus rank 72)

Calen Bullock has been a ballhawk since his true freshman season in 2021.

In his three years as a USC Trojan, Bullock has racked up 15 pass breakups and nine interceptions, both of which rank top-five among FBS safeties over that span.

He is tall, long and rangy, and his ball skills are no joke. Bullock was a savant who took advantage of the quarterback's mistakes against the disguised coverages USC ran. He also displayed solid man-coverage ability.

Bullock is on the slender side, which causes him to miss more tackles. He can also get a little too aggressive trying to make a play, sometimes giving up big gains, but that’s his game.

No. 34: OT Blake Fisher, Notre Dame (consensus rank 89)

Blake Fisher almost returned to Notre Dame to take Joe Alt’s spot at left tackle and establish a first-round draft stock for 2025, but he chose to go to the NFL. He will likely hear his name called on Day 2.

Fisher was a breakout candidate entering the 2023 campaign, but his growth stalled at right tackle. In fact, his PFF grade dropped a smidge year over year. Still, there’s a lot to like about his NFL potential.

The 21-year-old tackle prospect has the ideal frame and athleticism combo for the position. He uses his length to his advantage in pass protection and is light on his feet, giving him strong recovery and redirect ability.

Fisher’s strike accuracy and timing have some room to improve, but when his punch lands, it deadens rushes. While his production stalled in 2023, the 6-foot-6, 318-pound tackle showed improvement in his coordination and independent hand usage.

Fisher’s tape against Clemson particularly stood out, as he allowed just two pressures to a talented pass rush while playing a healthy load of true pass sets in crunch time. He also showed throughout his career that he could survive in a diverse run scheme.

No. 35: iDL Michael Hall Jr., Ohio State (consensus rank 67)

Michaell Hall Jr. is a ball of fire. The Ohio State product possesses quicks in his upper and lower body, helping him to a career 15.4% pass-rush win rate — a top-five rate among Power Five interior defensive linemen since 2021.

Hall is effective at crossing face, getting skinny and finishing with bend to create pressure, but he is also calculated with his hand usage. He does have solid block recognition and pad level against the run, but his ability to make an impact in that facet at the NFL level is pushing him down boards. This is understandable — there are flashes of power in his game, but the 6-foot-3, 299-pound lineman really has to put everything into it, causing some control and balance issues.

Holding up in the NFL run game is going to be even more difficult, but his intellect, fight and consistent leverage won’t make him a liability. Not to mention, the 20-year-old has time to develop and has the ability to make a big impact in a rotation to start before taking on a bigger job.

No. 36: SCB Tykee Smith, Georgia (consensus rank: 125)

It’s been five years since Tykee Smith first caught my eye.

While a West Virginia Mountaineer in 2019 and 2020, Smith earned the fourth-highest slot coverage grade in the FBS. The three players ahead of him in that stretch — Elijah Molden, Trevon Moehrig and Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah — are all starters in the NFL.

Smith transferred to Georgia in 2021, but multiple injuries kept him out for most of the season and kept him as a reserve in 2022. But in 2023, after fellow prospect Javon Bullard moved from the slot to safety, Smith moved to the important “star” position (slot corner) in Kirby Smart’s defense, and he returned to top form. Smith was the highest-graded slot corner in the entire FBS in 2023.

The 5-foot-10, 203-pound defensive back is on the shorter side, but he has a good build and length for his frame. Smith’s ball skills, hard-nosed mindset, fluid and flexible lower-half and instincts all pop off his tape. He processes the play at a fast rate. The ability to cover the slot route tree and navigate a lot of space is there. Arguably his greatest strength, however, is his block-shedding against the screen game.

Smith’s ability to defend faster receivers is in question, and he doesn’t have a versatile background, but it wouldn’t shock me if he takes on more of a safety job in the right system.

No. 41: CB Cam Hart, Notre Dame (consensus rank: 103)

Cam Hart is a big and long corner at 6-foot-3, 202 pounds with 33-inch arms. And with that frame, the Golden Domer possesses impressive movement skills. He also has a 91st-percentile season-long PFF Game Athleticism Score (GAS) on his resume.

Unfortunately, Hart’s ball production leaves a lot to be desired. He managed just two pass breakups and not a single interception in 2023. Considering the amount of man coverage the Notre Dame defense ran, that’s a major concern. At the same time, Hart still excelled in his job and produced — he was stingy all year long, allowing only 137 yards and zero scores en route to an 84.2 coverage grade.

I view him as a scheme-versatile prospect. His press technique and level of physicality are strong, and his eyes, feet and twitch from off allow him to survive there. Hart does have good balance closing underneath, but there could be more aggression there.


Ovr Rank POS Name School Pos Rank
46 CB Khyree Jackson Oregon CB7
47 EDGE Jonah Ellis Utah EDGE5
48 CB Max Melton Rutgers CB8
49 WR Javon Baker UCF WR9
50 iOL Christian Haynes Connecticut iOL4
51 QB Bo Nix Oregon QB6
52 WR Ricky Pearsall Florida WR10
53 iOL Graham Barton Duke iOL5
54 TE Cade Stover Ohio State TE2
55 LB Jeremiah Trotter Jr. Clemson LB2
56 SAF Tyler Nubin Minnesota SAF4
57 iDL Braden Fiske Florida State iDL5
58 WR Jalen McMillan Washington WR11
59 iDL Kris Jenkins Michigan iDL6
60 EDGE Bralen Trice Washington EDGE6
61 WR Jermaine Burton Alabama WR12
62 WR Troy Franklin Oregon WR13
63 EDGE Austin Booker Kansas EDGE7
64 iOL Sedrick Van Pran-Granger Georgia iOL6
Highlighting some prospects I’m higher on than the consensus

No. 46: CB Khyree Jackson, Oregon (consensus rank: 95)

Khyree Jackson is a unique prospect for a variety of reasons.

The Oregon product was a late bloomer as a recruit, as he missed his sophomore and junior seasons of high school football. He was forced to go the JUCO route but left before his first season in 2017 and didn’t play football again until 2019 at Fort Scott Community College.

After a strong season there, Jackson transferred to East Mississippi Community College in 2020, but the season was canceled due to the pandemic. Despite playing football in just two of seven seasons from his sophomore year of high school to his fourth year out of it, the cornerback had shown enough to be sought after by premier programs like Alabama, where he would commit and spend two years as a reserve cornerback before being suspended from the team for undisclosed reasons. Jackson had one more opportunity in 2023 at Oregon, and he undoubtedly took advantage of it.

In his lone season as an Oregon Duck, the cornerback posted an 80.5 PFF grade, the second-highest in the Pac-12. Jackson’s roller-coaster background isn’t the only reason for him being a “unique” corner prospect — his size and athleticism combo is in rare territory, with 100th-percentile height (6-foot-4), 90th-percentile weight (203 pounds), 92nd-percentile arm length (32.75 inches) and a 99th-percentile PFF Game Athleticsm Score (GAS).

Jackson’s ability to play at a good depth while maintaining efficient movements isn’t common for someone of his stature. He has the lower-half flexion to survive in the NFL, and he also has disciplined eyes, press intimidation and good tackling technique. There were consistent examples of him being in control of the receiver without being the aggressor, making him a promising all-around corner prospect.

There are likely a slew of teams with Jackson completely off their board, given his background and the fact that he will be 25 before his rookie regular season commences, but I believe his game is NFL-ready.

No. 47: Edge Jonah Elliss, Utah (consensus rank: 75)

Ellis is a young prospect out of Utah (just turned 21) who might be a pass-rush specialist only to start out in the NFL ranks. The 6-foot-2, 253-pound edge rusher is teetering on the smaller end for the position and will likely have issues getting stuck on blocks in the run game, but his floor is high with his pass-rush ability.

Ellis was one of the more improved pass-rushers in college football last year, bolstering his grade in the facet by nearly 30 grading points to 90.1. He came out and showed a deep pass-rush arsenal and an advanced understanding of leverage and offensive lineman movements. The Utah product possesses super quicks, fierce second-reaction ability and impressive hands.

No. 49: WR Javon Baker, UCF (consensus Rank: 97)

After a couple of years as a reserve at Alabama, Javon Baker found an opportunity to start at UCF and has taken advantage of it the last couple of years. This past season, the 6-foot-1, 207-pound wide receiver averaged 3.21 yards per route run, a top-10 mark among all FBS wide receivers.

Baker possesses some crafty route-running ability. His body control pops off the film on 50-50 balls, and he pairs that with twitch and fluid movements to respect in an open field. While the UCF prospect has displayed some nuance in his routes, he will need to be a bit more calculated and efficient in that department at the next level and also focus on avoiding body catches.

No. 54: TE Cade Stover, Ohio State (consensus rank: 96)

There’s been some debate on who the TE2 in this class should be after Georgia’s Brock Bowers. I’m going to pound the table for Ohio State product Cade Stover, a player who began his time as a Buckeye at linebacker before switching to tight end a few years in. He is on the older side, as he turns 24 this summer, but his game looks ready to make an impact in the NFL.

For starters, Stover has some clean breaks in his routes and legit route-running chops in general, which gives him some receiving versatility. He adjusts well to fight through contact in contested scenarios and has some of the best ball skills in the class. Just this past season, Stover didn’t drop a single target.

The 6-foot-4, 249-pound tight end isn’t the most dynamic player, but he is quick to turn upfield to maximize yard after-the-catch opportunities and has enough juice and strength to fight for more. There may be some work to be done to get his core blocking more consistent, but his high-end action at Ohio State gives him a safe floor in that department in the NFL.

Stover was an efficient target in Columbus, with 27 of his 41 catches going for a conversion, and I think he can be the same for an NFL franchise.


Ovr Rank POS Name School Pos Rank
65 WR Keon Coleman Florida State WR14
66 OT Jordan Morgan Arizona OT9
67 CB Kris Abrams-Draine Missouri CB9
68 iOL Dominick Puni Kansas iOL7
69 LB Edgerrin Cooper Texas A&M LB3
70 QB Michael Penix Jr. Washington QB7
71 CB D.J. James Auburn CB10
72 iOL Drake Nugent Michigan iOL8
73 iDL Leonard Taylor III Miami [FL] iDL7
74 CB Kamari Lassiter Georgia CB11
75 iDL DeWayne Carter Duke iDL8
76 LB Junior Colson Michigan LB4
77 WR Ja'Lynn Polk Washington WR15
78 iDL Brandon Dorlus Oregon iDL9
79 WR Xavier Legette South Carolina WR16
Highlighting some prospects I’m higher on than the consensus

No. 67: CB Kris Abrams-Draine, Missouri (consensus rank: 90)

Kris Abrams-Draine enjoyed an exceptional career as a Missouri Tiger. Over the last three seasons, the 6-foot, 183-pound corner dabbled between the slot and outside and racked up a whopping 30 pass breakups and seven interceptions. His ball awareness and inside-outside versatility are both huge positives on his scouting report, as are his recovery ability, clean movements and playmaking field vision. All of those attributes make him an alluring Day 2 option in this year’s class, but teams will undoubtedly have some concerns about his slender frame.

Abrams-Draine’s weight is in the bottom quartile historically among cornerback prospects, and there were plenty of examples of him getting jolted around along the route and at the line of scrimmage versus bigger, physical receivers while at Mizzou. He’s going to require a high rate of off-coverage and maybe even a permanent move to the slot, but if he lands in the right situation, he can serve in a key role.

No. 72: iOL Drake Nugent, Michigan (consensus rank: 214)

Drake Nugent has been one of the top centers in college football over the last few years while playing for multiple programs. The former Stanford Cardinal (2019-22) and Michigan Wolverine (2023) has earned a PFF grade above 77.0 in each of the last three seasons, with his last two campaigns ranking top-10 at the position.

It’s rare to see a college offensive lineman be as proficient with their hand usage as Nugent was. The 6-foot-2, 300-pound center is on the smaller end but has a length that exceeds his size (33 inches, 75th percentile). There are some bad reps of him getting rocked by club moves, and it takes a lot for Nugent to anchor and not cede ground into the QB. That said, his natural leverage does aid him in the run game, especially in short-yardage situations.

Nugent’s size is a concern when projecting him to the next level, but the advanced nature of his game eases that enough for me to consider him a top-100 prospect.

No. 73: iDL Leonard Taylor III, Miami (FL) (consensus rank: 106)

There was a lot of hope for a Leonard Taylor III breakout campaign in 2023, but it was much like his 2022 true sophomore campaign: Flashes of high-level play over a small snap volume. The 2021 five-star recruit never eclipsed 350 snaps in a single season for the Hurricanes, but the interior defender did earn a strong 85.0 PFF grade over his 869 career snaps. And he did that while going from exclusively defensive tackle in 2021 and 2022 to mostly nose work in 2023.

Taylor has heavy hands and a well-distributed frame. The athletic ability is there featuring explosive movements and strong cornering ability, and he showed enough technical development against the run to be encouraged about. The 6-foot-4, 303-pound is missing a refined set of pass-rush moves, and there are some slight concerns about his eye discipline and body control while navigating the trenches.

Taylor is going to require some strong coaching early on in his NFL career, but his ceiling is attractive, and he has some production (albeit in a small sample) to show for it.


Ovr Rank POS Name School Pos Rank
80 RB Blake Corum Michigan RB1
81 EDGE Marshawn Kneeland Western Michigan EDGE8
82 CB Ennis Rakestraw Jr. Missouri CB12
83 SAF Jaden Hicks Washington State SAF5
84 EDGE Chris Braswell Alabama EDGE9
85 RB Marshawn Lloyd South Carolina RB2
86 WR Tez Walker North Carolina WR17
87 OT Christian Jones Texas OT10
88 EDGE Darius Robinson Missouri EDGE10
89 RB Audric Estime Notre Dame RB3
90 iDL Justin Eboigbe Alabama iDL10
91 CB T.J. Tampa Iowa State CB13
92 iDL Tyler Davis Clemson iDL11
93 LB Tommy Eichenberg Ohio State LB5
94 WR Brenden Rice USC WR18
95 RB Trey Benson Florida State RB4
96 TE Ja'Tavion Sanders Texas TE3
97 RB Bucky Irving Oregon RB5
98 WR Malachi Corley Western Kentucky WR19
99 iOL Tanor Bortolini Wisconsin iOL9
100 CB Kalen King Penn State CB14
Highlighting some prospects I’m higher on than the consensus

No. 90: iDL Justin Eboigbe, Alabama (consensus rank: 139)

Justin Eboigbe enjoyed a fifth-year breakout campaign in 2023, earning a 78.7 PFF grade on the season after missing most of 2022 with a career-threatening neck injury and the tragic passing of his brother.

The 6-foot-5, 292-pound defensive lineman was tasked with handling a lot of the dirty work of the trenches by aligning in a variety of techniques in Nick Saban’s defense, with most of his time coming at the 4i spot in the mint/tite front structure. No matter where he was, he was a consistent force against the run game.

Eboigbe posted an 86.4 run-defense grade last year, a top-10 mark among all Power Five defensive linemen. His run-defense performance in 2023 was assignment-sound, with a ton of pop at the point of attack, consistent hand placement and top-tier grip strength. Week after week, Eboigbe showed he isn’t a guy you want a pulling lineman to go after.

However, his pass rush was well below average, as he earned just a 63.1 grade in the facet. Eboigbe’s role in the defense played a part here, but the inconsistent pad level, lack of a refined move set and some general athletic limitations are all causes for concern.

Despite some of the flaws in his report, Eboigbe’s skill set still has him as a top-100 prospect on my big board. He has the fixings to be a versatile and dependable run stuffer at the next level.

No. 92: iDL Tyler Davis, Clemson (consensus rank: 152)

The lack of length on Tyler Davis’ frame is undoubtedly scary when projecting him to the next level. His arms measured at 31.38 inches, putting him at the 11th percentile of interior defensive line prospects historically. Lack of length is a major limiter in the trenches, and it showed in college when trying to get off blocks. That said, there are a lot of alluring aspects to Davis’ game.

For starters, the production is there. Davis produced back-to-back 80.0-plus grades in 2022 and 2023, helping him generate the 13th-most PFF Win Shares at the position over that time.

The 6-foot-1, 301-pound interior defender possesses a lot of shock on contact and plays a relentless game. His angry play showed up routinely against the run—he constantly destroyed blocking schemes with his eyes, hands and feet all working in unison to make a play. An underrated aspect of Davis’ play is his ability to wrap up on the ball carrier, as evidenced by his mere two missed tackles over the last couple of years.

No. 93: LB Tommy Eichenberg, Ohio State (consensus rank: 130)

If someone were to rank the top “football guys” in this class, Tommy Eichenberg would have to be near the top of the list.

Eichenberg—the brother of Miami Dolphins offensive lineman Liam Eichenberg—played with injuries to both hands in 2022 and finished the season as a top-10-graded off-ball linebacker in the FBS. Then, in 2023, he played the big game against Michigan with a dislocated elbow. Not to mention, his tape on a weekly basis shows an aggressive linebacker who plays a fearless game. Doing that while playing smart and balanced makes him an alluring prospect.

The 6-foot-3, 235-pound linebacker has a nose for the football and excellent lateral movement ability to win in tight quarters. Eichenberg also understands the run game at a high level, well beyond his peers in college.

His range and explosion could pop more, as could his ability to disengage from blocks. Although his performance dropped slightly in 2023, he’s a linebacker with the right mindset and other great traits to earn a key job at the NFL level.

No. 100: CB Kalen King, Penn State (consensus rank: 163)

Kalen King went from a potential first-round pick to a Day 3 prospect in just one year.

The 5-foot-11, 191-pound cornerback saw his PFF coverage grade tank from 90.6 in 2022 — the fourth-best in the FBS — all the way down to 55.7 in 2023, a couple of dozen spots away from the worst mark in the country. Most were hoping a strong Senior Bowl outing from King would help ease some concerns from the severe dip, but a volatile performance in one-on-ones made his stock worse.

Cornerback is a volatile position — it’s rare to see elite play maintained. But King’s performance in 2023 was dreadful. His eyes were inconsistent, he missed a slew of assignments resulting in big gains and the incredible ball skills he put on display in 2022 were nowhere to be found.

Despite having an above-average frame, King plays a tough, fearless game. It pops when sticking along the route and when taking on the underneath game. His overall man-coverage potential is solid, and he has enough movement skills to check the box. There could be a position change in his future, and there are plenty of concerns with his eye discipline, but I’d be willing to take a risk on a guy who has an elite campaign on his resume a little bit sooner than mid-Day 3. Especially in this class.

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